From June 27, 2017

More appointments!!

Journal entry by Abigail Johnston — 

It’s going to be a very busy week getting ready for surgery. Shots and blood work start tomorrow to boost my white blood cell count and keep a close watch on my overall health. Starting the Xgeva shot as well that will prompt calcium to move from my blood into my bones as well. No results from the skeletal study (X-rays of all my bones) but doctors have conferred and believe I’ll be healthy enough for surgery this week. Still awaiting recommendations for one rod or two based on the X-rays.

Orthopaedic surgeon is quite the character and shared stories of his 10 and 12 year old sons and their antics during the appointment yesterday and again today on the phone. All of the nurses know that we have two boys and have asked after them.

So thankful for mom being here to drive me hither and yon this week, teach me how to properly work the crutches and wheelchair and for backing up Elliot with the boys.

Elliot and I met with a therapist today to help support us through the process and make good decisions as we walk together through this experience. Lots of tears but another avenue of support for us both.

From June 26, 2017

More about the bones

Journal entry by Abigail Johnston — Jun 26, 2017

We went to the Orthopaedic doctor today for a consult about my right femur. He showed us the X-rays from Friday and the area of my bone that needs stabilization. Good news is that the surgery to put the titanium rod in my femur will have less recovery time than we anticipated. Surgery is likely going to happen on Friday afternoon with a one night stay at the hospital. Dr says weight bearing is possible right away and I could walk from the hospital. The only limitation to having the surgery is my white blood cell count so blood work on Thursday.

Orthopaedic doctor reviewed the bone scans from last week and called to tell me that there is a corresponding but smaller lesion on my left femur and he may want to put a rod to stabilize that bone too. Or possible that we radiate both bones after recovery from surgery on the right.

Upcoming appointments…

Skeletal study tomorrow

Brain MRI on Thursday morning

Blood work Thursday

Xgeva shot Thursday

Potential surgery Friday

Next chemo the following Friday

Radiation on my leg(s) a week or so after that

The X-rays today were scary. The cancer is everywhere. Holding onto what feels like the last shreds of hope and optimism tonight. Affects of chemo have not been as bad this round so that’s a positive but feeling so weak isn’t my cup of tea.

Holding onto Ps 30:5 … “Weeping may last for the night but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”

 

From June 24, 2017

Updates and new diagnosis

Journal entry by Abigail Johnston — 

recapping the news from this past week … bone scans and CT scans show that the breast cancer has spread to my bones.  Specifically and concentrated in the large bones, but pretty much everywhere.  I have a 5cm tumor in my right femur that is of the greatest concern since that’s a weight bearing bone.  There has been much surprise and concern that I’ve been able to keep walking and am not in lots of pain.  Staying off of it now that I know a fracture is likely if I keep putting my weight on that leg.

Next steps … continue with chemo (2nd treatment of the first type was yesterday) and redo the bone scans to see if chemo is working to shrink the mets.  Need surgery (probably next week) to stabilize my right femur and then start radiation to shrink that tumor.
Lots of adjustments now that the diagnosis and treatment are very different.   Cancer is something that I will live with the rest of my life and I’ll never be able to say that I’m cancer free.   Scary and overwhelming and I don’t know what is next.  What I do know is that I love my boys and Elliot and all of you and appreciate all of your support and love and well wishes.
Abi

Finally

I’ve been asked repeatedly whether I have a blog and why not since I was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in 2017.  I’ve resisted since I’ve been writing and doing other things, but I’ve finally taken the plunge.  I’ll be transitioning my posts from my Caring Bridge site here over the next few days and stay tuned for some new stuff I’ve been working on!

Thanks for connecting!

Abigail

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!  This blog is all about my journey with stage IV metastatic breast cancer and how that has affected me and my family.    I am not a physician and cannot pretend to fully understand my disease or many of the medical issues I deal with.  What I do try to understand is how I’m feeling and dealing with my disease.   I offer this information as a catharsis to me and also to create a record of how I’ve dealt with the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me.

As my family and friends know, I do nothing halfway, so this is me, living life with no half measures.

Happy reading!

Abigail

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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